Oscar Piastri disagrees with Alpine’s assertion that he would compete for the team in Formula 1 in the upcoming season and claims he hasn’t signed a deal for 2023.
Early on Tuesday evening, Alpine announced that Piastri, the team’s backup driver, will take Fernando Alonso’s place as its F1 substitute for the upcoming season.
The announcement, however, was quickly questioned since it did not include Piastri, despite the fact that he was already under contract with the team, and because it was made just hours after team president Otmar Szafnauer had suggested that a deal might be challenging to make.
Alpine asserts that it has a contractual option on Piastri’s future for the years 2023 and, possibly, 2024. Alpine’s position changed from being unable to confirm Piastri on Tuesday morning to introducing him 6.5 hours later.
However, shortly after Alpine’s news was released, Piastri responded by rejecting the offer.
“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year,” Piastri said in a tweet. “This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023.”
“I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
From 2019 through 2021, Piastri won three junior single-seater championships, including the Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships as a rookie.
Although Szafnauer stated on Tuesday morning that Piastri’s management are reviewing their alternatives, whatever that implies, he had been named as the number one preferred candidate to succeed Alonso.
Piastri is reportedly vying for a racing seat in order to replace Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren. This was a perplexing inclusion that was connected to rumored McLaren interest in Piastri. Despite Alpine’s assertion that it held a contractual option on Piastri’s future for 2023 and possibly 2024 as well, it was evident that issues existed.
It’s a startling development for a driver Alpine had no interest in fielding in one of its race seats for 2023 up until approximately 36 hours ago and who has yet to even participate in a Friday practice session.
Williams appeared to be the most likely destination for Piastri to end up on loan if Alonso had stayed at Alpine. And it was believed that Piastri had to accept Alpine’s decision because his contract provides Alpine the authority to determine where he drives in 2023.
But it’s understood that Piastri’s management, which includes former F1 driver Mark Webber, looked into other possibilities for him. In particular, Webber was eager to investigate the idea of replacing Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren with Piastri.
Additionally, McLaren is rumored to be receptive to the concept of Piastri while publicly stating that Ricciardo is its top priority. Ricciardo must make an extremely clear decision regarding whether he will quit the team early (by choice or with a payoff) or complete his contract.